Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living Healthy

Before I get started...DON'T forget to enter our awesome March giveaway...click HERE!

TIP #2
Cook healthy meals that the whole family will enjoy!

This is hard for many busy families to do, but I feel that it is so important to make eating enjoyable, nutritious, and fun for the entire family. SO...make sure to involve your kids in the kitchen as much as possible!

Here are some helpful tips that I came up with to support cooking healthy meals in the kitchen with your kids:

1. Make a weekly meal plan. 
Usually on Sunday I sit down and plan out my meals for the week. My sister-in-law, author of Biterite.blogspot.com, gave me this lovely item for Christmas last year. I LOVE IT!

This helps me keep track of what we are eating for dinner each night and ideas for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. I glance at it daily because it is on my refrigerator. 

 Ask your children what they would like for dinner this week.
~ They could choose from a list of options.
~ Maybe your family likes to have themed nights. For example: Meatless Mondays, Pizza Fridays, Mexican Wednesdays, Breakfast Sundays, etc. 
~ Another idea would be to have each child choose a dish on their night....just plan ahead. Mikey picks on Monday what you get to eat for dinner. Since it his night then he is the KITCHEN HELPER for MONDAY nights. 

I feel that when I write it down I stick to the menu better. With kids there will be no questions like, "What's for dinner mom?" They will no that you have decided ahead of time and the menu is on the fridge. 

Planning ahead also helps with your grocery shopping for the week. 

By including your kids in the process you are able to teach MANY lessons such as: writing lists, organization, money management, reading recipes, measuring ingredients, etc.

2. Plan Ahead: Meal Preparation

I have found that the closer to dinner time, the harder it is to prepare dinner. SO...I have found that if I do the prep work ahead of time (like the night before after the kids are in bed or in the morning) then it is much faster and easier to get dinner on the table by 6:00pm. Do what you can do ahead of time like chop veggies, prepare the salad, assemble the lasagna and then refrigerate it. Then when it is time to have your children help you they can set the table and prepare the final touches on the dishes That way you can give your child more attention in the kitchen. 

3. Finding Healthy Recipes

I LOVE trying new recipes! I especially love using the internet to do this. I love reading other people's reviews on recipes that they have tried and to learn from them. I have compiled a list of some of my all time favorite websites that feature nutritious recipes that the whole family will love!

Happy Cooking!!!!


The Jackson Family said...

Great post! A lot of new ideas to try. I LOVE the menu planner that can go on the fridge. I'm putting that on my list of things to make : ) Also, I agree that it's so much easier to include the kids when you make dinner if you've prepared what you can ahead... for example, I made pizza a few weeks ago and wanted the kids to make their own, but I waited until right before to make the dough, the sauce, etc. and was so busy finishing everything up that I didn't have much time to actually help them.

Julie said...

Jess, I downloaded a free template at

that is super cute if you want to check it out!